Japan or SPLAT: It's been awhile... / by Malik Lloyd

A year ago, we started the Japan or SPLAT project. The idea was to either go to Japan or go skydiving and to make a film about the experience; a film that would inspire others. Sounds simple, right? Nah. Things got off to a rocky start with the crowdfunding campaign.We started everything last minute and did a lot of the work on the fly.It was kind of a disastor when you look at the numbers, only raising $360 out of $20,000. Things only got more difficult after that. Hard drives started to fail, tensions grew between the group members, and everyday life forced its way to the top of our respective lists of priorities. Eventually, we finally made the trip of going skydiving a reality, with all of us sticking with the project long enough to see one of the basic goals accomplished.

Afterwards, things fell apart. One member of the group dropped out, one member was taken away by the responsibilities of parenting, and I, the director of the project, was left to work on things alone. This time period was known as the 2nd Limbo and public updates on the project were virtually non-existent.

During the 2nd Limbo, I spent my spare time improving my film-making abilities while working to come to a better understanding my path in life. Over those silent months I had to deal with all types of ridiculous shit, ranging from issues at the family home to dealing with an asshole of a Japanese guy for a roommate. Other than going to work 5 or 6 days a week, I’d usually come home to study in solitude, in an attempt to avoid the insanity of the day to day. It was during this time that it finally sank in that the most inspirational aspect of the project for me was the willpower displayed in staying dedicated to what would seem to be a fruitless effort from an outside perspective. At any time, I could’ve dropped the whole project for completely rational reasons, but honestly, quitting just felt like the shittier option.

As of now, it’s been a whole year since the project began. As I type this, I’m putting all of the details in place to solidify my trip to Japan for my birthday in 2016. No, no filming for Japan or SPLAT will be done in Japan. Japan or SPLAT is a story about overcoming failure and gaining the much more valuable experience it provides when you stay committed to just the specific plans you’ve set for yourself. Sure, it would’ve been nice if we pulled off something magical and were able to pursue the original plans for the film, but the truth about life is that shit just isn’t that kind of magical.

 

What I want the film to convey to others is that life gets shitty. Things get tough and at times may  seem impossible to overcome. But as human beings we all have the potential and the capability to make decisions and stick with them. With a bit of mindfulness, ritualistic self-motivation, and the support of even just a few genuine people, we all are capable of making our way through any challenge. As long as it doesn’t kill us. You must be confident in yourself, your abilities, and in the fact that opportunities and good things come to those that prepare themselves to receive them. To be confident, you must be open to different ideas and willing to trust that there are people out there that actually want to see you succeed.  With this film, I want everyone to realize that everyday is a battle and you only win by seeing things through to the next day.

And that’s Japan or SPLAT, a story about maintaining confidence in the face of failure.

It’s about the audacity to live, nigga.

 

Malik Lloyd
The Azure Travelr
formerly K the Otaku